High Productivity Rewarded With The Sack At Patrick Stevedores

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) says the unionised workforce which has delivered increased crane rates at Patrick’s Port Botany site will only be rewarded with the sack.

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Information released by Asciano management during the webcast briefing of its annual results today shows that that the current EBA is delivering increased cranerates of up to 20 per cent at its Port Botany site.

Having agreed to a new EBA in April after 20 months of negotiations, Asciano’s Patrick Stevedores since announced more than half of its Port Botany workforce would be made redundant by mid 2014 with the introduction of automated technology.

At today’s analysts briefing, Patrick Terminals and Logistics Director Alistair Field confirmed productivity had skyrocketed under the new EBA:

Analyst Question: Can we get a sense from Port Botany what the operational improvement has been since the EBA was signed – so, over the last two months – what the improvement has been, just at that particular operation?

Alistair Field: Just in terms of crane productivity we’ve seen a between 15 and 20 per cent improvement - that’s stable at this stage and we expect that to continue as well. But it’s not only the key line improvements that we’ve seen – we’ve seen improvements in safety and in a number of other operational aspects as well, so it’s quite a stable operation at this stage.

MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said the 20 per cent lift in productivity since the new EBA was signed and deserved better recognition than redundancy.

“These stevedores have worked hard to deliver the productivity gains negotiated as part of the EBA process,” Mr Crumlin said.

“And how are they rewarded? With the sack. Patrick’s talk big about motivating their workforce, a new workplace culture and delivering increased efficiency but when this is delivered these workers’ jobs are being undermined by a lie.

“In 20 months, these job losses were never mentioned and it should have been the focus of negotiations. It begs the question of just who is serious about delivering productivity in this country.

“You shouldn’t expect it to be delivered if you adopt the mushroom principle of keeping your workforce in the dark.

“The obvious question for Asciano shareholders is: how can Patrick’s expect to deliver long term contracts when company management undermines trust and transparency with its workforce?”